Bristol Bath Creative RD

Bristol+Bath Creative R+D works to bring together networks in Bristol and Bath in order to forge connections, share knowledge and create new opportunities.

This first-of-a-kind collaboration between digital creativity centre Watershed and the region’s four universities - UWE Bristol, Bath Spa, the University of Bath and the University of Bristol - intends to break down doors, connecting the worlds of university research and creative business to develop a shared vision for tomorrow’s creative industries.

Bristol+Bath Creative R+D is here to make a real and lasting impact, attracting new talent and fostering the next generation of original, diverse, creative minds. The aim is for Bristol and Bath to carry the torch for jaw-dropping innovation, creating the most inventive, compelling new products, services and experiences. The network will aim to achieve this in an inclusive and sustainable way, working as one to create a positive economic, social and cultural impact.

"We are delighted to be a part of this exciting collaboration. This partnership between Bristol and Bath’s four Universities, together with Watershed and key business partners, will create the conditions for a real step-change in activity, enabling the use of creative technologies to be better harnessed alongside the region’s burgeoning creative and cultural sector."

Kate Pullinger, Director of the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries


Pathfinders are themed, creative R+D projects designed to lead the Bristol + Bath cluster into the future, engage with emergent technologies and develop a diverse new talent base. There will be five Pathfinders from 2019 until 2023.

The first two Pathfinders are:

  • Digital Placemaking (2019-20) 
  • Expanded Performance (2020-21)

For more information and to apply for funding, please see our website.

Digital placemaking

Digital Placemaking aims to enhance and deepen the relationship between people and places. We believe the best examples of digital placemaking are co-designed by different kinds of communities, using digital technology and creative solutions to improve or enhance the public experience of place.

The Digital Placemaking R&D Production call asked for ideas that explore questions of belonging, safety, hope and power in public spaces. We're pleased to announce the funded prototype projects are POPMAP, Everything is Music, Stupid Cities and Narratives. You can read more about their work below and on their Digital Placemaking Prototypes page. 

Expanded Performance

The Expanded Performance Pathfinder will explore the concept of liveness and togetherness in the context of current innovations in technology. Looking across the theatre and live music sectors, our research and development will consider how shows are made and marketed to how they are captured and distributed. 

We're delighted to announce our Expanded Performance cohort of Fellows and Industry Partners who each bring unique research questions, and will be working together to explore the challenges and opportunities around the theme for the next 11 months.

Our cohort of nine Fellows has been selected across Academia, Industry, New Talent and Inclusion. 

Our six Industry Partners are: 

Read more about the full cohort.

Find out more

Bristol+Bath Creative R+D is part of the Creative Industries Cluster Programme, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and part of the Industrial Strategy.

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